Delaware State Fair may see rain and high humidity

Camille Book, 4, from Milford feeds a giraffe a carrot during the opening day at the Delaware State Fair in Harrington. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

HARRINGTON — Attendees at the Delaware State Fair should be prepared for high humidity and possible rain this weekend and into next week.

The fair, which kicked off its 99th iteration Thursday, is expected to coincide with a hot, sticky climate for several days in the midst of the dog days of summer.

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures Sunday through Wednesday could reach into the high 80s, with around a 50 percent chance of rain every day. The dew point during that stretch is predicted to range from the high 60s to the mid-70s, a level the National Weather Service terms “oppressive.”

While the temperature shouldn’t hit the mid-90s, as it did at the beginning of the month and earlier this week, fairgoers may still want to bring waters and raincoats.

Of course, any rain may help cool things off next week.

“It’s going to be a little bit better than it has been but still kind of summery,” Trent Davis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Mount Holly, New Jersey, office, said.

Last year’s fair, which opened with a kickoff concert on July 19 and concluded July 29, saw temperatures surpass 90 over the first four days. After that, however, average temperatures dropped about 10 degrees, and it rained several days.

Attendance in 2016 was down 15 percent from the year before, largely due to the temperature reaching into the 90s eight of the 10 fair days.

Although the beginning of next week may be hot and humid, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are expected to be mostly cloudy.

“We expect it to be hot with a chance of some kind of precipitation,” Assistant Fair General Manager Danny Aguilar wrote in an email. “We have several locations that are air conditioned and are designed to keep our customers comfortable if a passing rain cloud drop in on us.”

On average, about 275,000 to 300,000 people attend the fair, Mr. Aguilar said.

With the annual event taking place in mid-to-late July, temperatures typically range between the low 80s and high 90s. They do occasionally cross into the triple digits, as happened twice in 2011.

Saturday appears most likely to see rain, so anyone planning on visiting that day should bring raincoats or be ready to get wet.

Gates open at 8 a.m. every day.

The 99th fair ends July 28.

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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